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Duterte signs order giving self authority to probe appointees

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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte has issued an executive order authorizing the chief executive to investigate and hear administrative cases against his appointees accused of corruption.

Executive Order No. (EO) 73, signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea by authority of the President on December 28, 2018, amends EO 43 that created the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission to probe all appointees in the executive branch.

“The preceding paragraphs notwithstanding, nothing shall prevent the President, in the interest of the service, from directly investigating and/or hearing an administrative case against any presidential appointee or authorizing other offices under the Office of the President to do the same, as well as from assuming jurisdiction at any stage of the proceedings over cases being investigated by the Commission,” Section 5 of the Order read.

The new directive also authorizes the Commission to recommend to the Anti-Red Tape Authority, for investigation, violation of Republic Act 9485 or the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2017.

“After due investigation, recommend to the President the filing of appropriate criminal complaints before the Office of the Ombudsman or the Department of Justice,” it added.

The PACC earlier confirmed investigating three members of the Duterte Cabinet.

The three Cabinet members under investigation were Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Technical and Skills Development Authority Director-General Isidro Lapeña, and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples chairperson Leonor Oralde-Quintayo.

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